100-year-old Joan Loosley, a resident at Icknield Court care home in Princes Risborough, joined Doreen Smith and fellow residents at Lewin House nursing home in Aylesbury to present mini bobble hats they have created to support Age UK Buckinghamshire’s ‘Big Knit’ campaign.
Joan has knitted since she was a young girl and during the war made socks and gloves for the troops. She came together with Doreen and a wider community of knitters from local care services run by The Fremantle Trust for a ‘knit and natter’ session on Monday 22nd, where they presented over 400 tiny bobble hats to Bernadette Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Age UK Buckinghamshire.
79-year-old Doreen has always had a love for knitting and has helped children in less privileged areas by creating and sending hand-made jumpers to Uganda over the years. She also swam 70 lengths when she turned 70 and raised over £1,300 to enable children overseas to have access to medical care.
The Big Knit is an annual campaign run by Age UK Buckinghamshire in conjunction with Innocent smoothies, and encourages knitters to create tiny bobble hats for the drinks. For each be-hatted smoothie sold, the charity receives 25p.The money raised from The Big Knit funds vital national and local Age UK services that combat loneliness, in particular keeping older people warm and well in winter.
Commenting on the initiative, Ewa Banaszcyk, leisure and lifestyle manager at The Fremantle Trust, said: “We were thrilled to get involved with this campaign to support older people in our local area. Residents have thoroughly embraced the opportunity and came up with some incredible designs.
“Knitting and nattering is a regular feature of our activity programmes across our older people services. Residents can immerse themselves in knitting and enjoy some quiet time or they can get together and chat, so it’s really flexible and it certainly supports active minds and nimble fingers!”
Bernadette Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Age UK Buckinghamshire, added: “It was a delight to meet these amazing knitters. The Big Knit Campaign 2019 in Bucks has been a sensational success. All funds raised by our wonderful knitters are essential to support our work in local communities.”